Match 4 Preview:

New England Free Jacks @ Chicago Hounds

When: Sunday March 24, 2024 2:00pm EST

Where: SeatGeek Stadium, Bridgeview, IL

Watch: NBC Sports Boston, The Rugby Network

Match Preview:

After a narrow 27-21 win against a tough NOLA team at home, the Free Jacks are back on the road in Round 4 as they head to Chicago, in what will be the Hounds’ first home game of the season. SeatGeek stadium will bring back positive memories for Free Jacks fans, as the last time New England played in this particular venue was for an MLR Championship last July.

Following last week’s win, New England sits atop the Eastern Conference just one point above NOLA, while Chicago is currently in fourth place with a record of 1-1-1. This will be the second away game for the Free Jacks after their trip to Charlotte in Round 1.

Coming into Round 4, the Free Jacks have some of the most in-form players of the competition; starting with fullback Recce Macdonald, who leads the league in tries (5) and carry meters (461). Center Ben LeSage is not far behind with 4 tries to his name, and his center partner Wayne Van der Bank currently sits 6th in the league in tackles with 44.

Other standout performers from last week’s game were back rower Seta Baker, who had a commanding performance with 9 carries, 11 tackles and 3 turnovers in his first start, and fly-half Jayson Potroz, who was perfect from the tee (5/5).

 

Scouting

Chicago plays their homeopener this weekend after traveling to Miami, Utah, and DC in the first 3 rounds. They started their season with a narrow win in South Florida, followed by a loss in Utah, and a 22-22 tie last week in DC, in which Irish back rower Connall Boomer scored two of their four tries.

The Hounds squad is made up of a mix of big and experienced forwards up front like Dylan Fawsitt, Lucas Rumball, and Luke White, combined with dangerous veteran backs such as Billy Meakes, Nate Augspurger and former Irish international Dave Kearney out wide. Look for Chicago to try to make a big statement this Sunday in their first home game of the season as they host the defending champions.

 

All time against Chicago

1-0

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